Anthony “Tony” Pasquinelli, homebuilding pioneer, dies at 88

Anthony “Tony” Pasquinelli, together with his brother Bruno, co-founded Pasquinelli Construction Company in 1958. Over 50 years, the Burr Ridge, Ill.-based company built 45,000 homes across 13 metro markets in 13 states, rising to its pinnacle in the early 2000s, when it became the fifth-largest private homebuilding company in the country.

Pasquinelli’s passion for real estate and higher education led him to become one of the co-founders of the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate (MBIRE). He joined Roosevelt University’s Board of Trustees in 2000, continued his service as a public trustee until 2014 and remained a life trustee. In 2006, he and his family established the Pasquinelli Family Distinguished Chair in Real Estate, an endowed faculty position at MBIRE, and in 2009, the Pasquinelli Family Heritage Room, a study room located adjacent to the school’s library.

“Tony was more than just an industry leader and supporter of the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate,” said Collete English Dixon, executive director of MBIRE. “He was a generous sharer of his time, talent and treasure to make sure that our program and the outcomes for our students were the strongest possible.”

Pasquinelli was influential in the development of Roosevelt’s downtown vertical campus, generously supporting both the Wabash Building and Goodman Center projects. The Chicago College of Performing Arts and the Auditorium Theatre were also beneficiaries of his generosity.

Pasquinelli, 88, died Sunday, April 17, at his home, according to his son, Joseph Pasquinelli, who is principal of Archideas, as well as an advisory board member of MBIRE and a member of the board of trustees for Roosevelt University.

Born in Chicago to first-generation Italian American parents, Pasquinelli attended Lindbloom High School and the University of Illinois, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Drafted into the Army in 1956, he lived in Fort Lee, Virg., for two years before co-founding the construction company.

Pasquinelli lost the love of his life, Mary Ann Pasquinelli, née Roche, after 57 years of marriage on November 2, 2017. He is survived by his seven children, Joseph, Maria, David, Anthony, Ellen Bergersen, Anne-Marie Trnka and Joan Van Beest; his brothers, Bruno, Jim and Michael; 16 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Funeral services for Pasquinelli were held Wednesday, April 20, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in La Grange. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 17, Chicago, Ill., 60601, are appreciated.